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Nonuniformed Little Rock employees will not receive raises in 2019, but they will receive bonuses, according to a budget revision City Manager Bruce Moore presented Tuesday.

A draft budget presented to the city Board of Directors at their Dec. 3 meeting provided for union-negotiated raises of 2.5 percent for all union-eligible positions in the city's police and fire departments and no raises for other employees.

Nonuniformed employees with salaries of $40,000 or below will receive $500 bonuses. Employees with salaries between $40,001 and $60,000 will receive $375. Those who make more than $60,000 annually will receive $250.

The total cost of the bonuses to the city is $464,036, with $282,643 of that coming from the city's general fund. The rest will come from funds for special projects, streets, waste disposal, fleet services and vehicle storage.

The bonus checks will be paid at the end of January, Moore said.

Both uniformed and nonuniformed employees will continue progressing in their step-and-grade pay scales.

Under a step-and-grade pay scale, employees are assigned to a certain grade category that has a starting minimum salary associated with it. Each year on an employee's hiring anniversary, the employees move up one step on the scale, which equals a 1.8 percent pay increase, until they reach the maximum assigned for their grade.

All city employees received a 1.5 percent salary increase in 2017.

The 2019 draft budget expects $210.4 million in both expenses and revenue, balancing the budget without carrying over revenue from previous years.

Personnel costs make up about 75 percent of the city's budget each year, Little Rock finance director Sara Lenehan said at the Dec. 3 meeting. Those costs total about $163.3 million in proposed expenditures for 2019.

The city Board of Directors will vote on whether to approve the budget at its Dec. 18 meeting. The budget, once approved, will still be subject to be amended during the coming year in the case of unforeseen circumstances or lower-than-expected revenue.

Little Rock plans to spend $387,561 less in 2019 than it did this year, according to the draft. Salary increases for staff contributed to the 2018 budget increase.

Metro on 12/12/2018

Print Headline: Little Rock budget plan adds bonuses for workers

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